fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Alima Williams <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2021 12:31:34 +0200
Subject: Dear Beloved one.
My dear beloved one.
I Am Ms Alima Williams from Angola .
I am contacting you to help me for the Investment of $11.000.000.00
usd ($11million united states dollars deposited in bank by my late
father in my name for investment abroad.
I am presently in Ivory caost as soon as you reply back this mail i
will give you more information and introduce you to my bank board of
directors to open communication with you to direct you how this
$11.000.000.00usd will be transfer into the bank account you will
provide in your country to receive this total sum as my partner.
I am waiting for your reply with your phone number .
Ms Alima Williams